Can private institutions improve our job prospects?

The demand for quality higher education has experienced exponential growth across Asia over the last twenty years. This is the result of school participation rates, increasing demand of the society and economy for specialised and skilled human resources, and the perceived importance of advanced education in subsequent life opportunities (ADB, 2011; World Bank, 2012), writes Manohar Lal, Assistant Professor, ITM Vocational University, Chartered FCSI, UK and CWM in India Today.

To accommodate these enrolment increases, higher education systems have had to ‘expand out’ by constructing new universities, hiring new faculty members, diversifying delivery mechanisms, and allowing more and encouraging the entry of private higher education providers (UNESCO 2013).

Tertiary Education Enrolment increase

The total enrolment at the tertiary level soared from 32 million students in 1970 to 165 million in 2009 – an increase of around 500 per cent the gross enrolment ratio for tertiary enrolment in 158 countries (UNESCO 2013), Lal points out.

According to a UGC consolidated list, there are 279 private universities in the country. They conduct their own admission procedure, design syllabus, conduct examinations and grant degrees to the students.

Nine Ways Private Education Can Help You

There are nine ways where private education helps you, writes Lal.

  • A private academic institution/university can be a great value because of the industry-ready skills and individualised attention students receive.
  • Private institutions align resources for better aid to students, better degree programmes and more opportunities.
  • Noting the value of an educational institution has now become a necessity for obtaining a well-paying, secure job, and a private university is a great option to choose for the best future preparation with affordable fees.
  • The fees can be financed through educational loans provided by various financial institution and government agency.
  • A private academic institution/university helps students to get a better job on graduation in the long run benefit the graduate by helping to pay off their loans faster and fast career growth.
  • Private academic institutions/universities provide exceptional and challenging educational experiences through extracurricular activities, advanced placement courses and even an international exchange programme at times.
  • These institutions provide small classroom sizes, more professor time, more engaged students, more social and community involvement, focused learning, balanced curriculum, enriched academic opportunities, and open communication between parents and administration.
  • A combination of more practical and hands-on assessments with project-based work is carried out in private institutes compared to the theoretical nature of many university courses.
  • Students graduate from private universities with a professional portfolio and ready for the workforce and have a competitive edge over other students when looking for a job.

Citing a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Education Committee (AEC) for 2014-2016, Lal writes that only 7% of the pass-outs are employable. Thus, private universities will lead the change for the next decade. They are more focused being fee-based, they know they must deliver value and need to have a good management to survive and grow, Lal concludes.

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